The Sacred in Fantastic Fandom

Essays on the Intersection of Religion and Pop Culture

Not Yet Published


New 2019 Pre-Order

Available for pre-order

About the Book

To the casual observer, similarities between fan communities and religious believers are difficult to find. Religion is traditional, institutional, and serious; whereas fandom is contemporary, individualistic, and fun. Can the robes of nuns and priests be compared to cosplay outfits of Jedi Knights and anime characters? Can travelling to fan conventions be understood as pilgrimages to the shrines of saints?
These new essays investigate fan activities connected to books, film, and online games, such as Harry Potter-themed weddings, using The Hobbit as a sacred text, and taking on heroic roles in World of Warcraft. Young Muslim women cosplayers are brought into conversation with Chaos magicians who use pop culture tropes and characters. A range of canonical texts, such as Supernatural, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Sherlock—are examined in terms of the pleasure and enchantment of repeated viewing. Popular culture is revealed to be a fertile source of religious and spiritual creativity in the contemporary world.

About the Author(s)

Carole M. Cusack is a professor of religious studies at the University of Sydney, Australia.
John W. Morehead of Syracuse, Utah, blogs on the fantastic at He is also the editor of a collection of essays on Joss Whedon and religion.
Venetia Laura Delano Robertson is a teaching fellow at Victoria University Wellington, New Zealand. She has written about religion and fandom for the International Journal of Cultural Studies and Journal for the Academic Study of Religion.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Carole M. Cusack, John W. Morehead and Venetia Laura Delano Robertson
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2019
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7083-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3640-5
Imprint: McFarland